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Pins and Brooches

If you immediately think of grandma when you think of wearing pins, think again. Brooches are a unique, versatile and glamorous accessory that can be worn so many ways — you’ll have no trouble incorporating them into your wardrobe.

Pins and brooches

A pin is a decorative piece of jewelry that usually attaches with a rotating pin clasp. The terms pin and brooch are often used interchangeably, though “pin” technically refers to a smaller type of brooch. Long ago, brooches were a functional add-on worn to hold clothing together, but today you can find charming designs featuring animals, flowers, insects, geometrics, symbols and more, any of which can be the perfect piece to complete your look. So whether your taste is whimsical or elegant, there’s sure to be a special pin that strikes your fancy.

Pins and brooches come in a variety of materials, including precious metals and gemstones, and range from small, subtle accents to large, elaborate statement pieces. Start building your own collection, and you’ll find they quickly become an essential part of your attire.

How to wear pins and brooches

While traditionally worn on jacket lapels, blouses, dresses, sweaters and hats, pins and brooches can transform an outfit in many creative ways. Ideally, you should have several brooches for mixing and matching with different looks. At minimum, it’s nice to have at least one for formal dress and another for casual wear.

A few more tips:

  • Contrast your clothing with your pins and brooches. Bright clothing works best with black and dark-colored brooches, while black or dark outfits will benefit from vibrant sterling silver brooches or brooches studded with colorful gemstones.
  • Aim to strike a balance between wearing a pin that’s so large it detracts from everything else and a pin that’s so small it’s completely overlooked.
  • Be careful not to pin a heavy brooch to thin fabric that can’t support it. Not only will the pin droop and create unattractive creases in your clothes, but the weight of a large brooch could also damage the material itself.

Try something less traditional

Looking to go beyond the ordinary? Pins and brooches are wonderful accessories for playing up all parts of your outfit, literally from top to bottom.

Headbands and hats:

Pins have always been a great way to add zing to headgear, particularly hats like berets and cloches. You can also dress up a solid-colored headband by attaching a simple but sparkly brooch.


Whether formal or casual, for a wedding or work, adding a little sparkle to your up-do is one of the freshest looks in hair couture.


Swap out that old leather buckle and try accenting your wrap dress with a brooch. Pin it to the side, at your hip, and you’ve got the perfect way to transform a plain daytime frock into a night-on-the-town dress!


Attach a pin to sandal straps to create a dressier look for nighttime. Just be careful that your bauble is securely fastened and won’t fall off on the dance floor. Many fashion blogs are showing “smoking” flats festooned with brooches and pins to give them a unique edge.

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